When our clients approached us to discuss the feasibility of designing a fully appointed 6000 square foot summer house in the oceanside town of Southampton, New York, our immediate concern was that the lot – located in a FEMA floodplain, on a property that is approximately 50% unbuildable wetlands – wouldn’t deliver the square footage or the living spaces required to create a ‘Hamptons Home’. Rather than fight the constraints imposed by the land, we saw this as an opportunity to capture a variety of spaces that could exist under, over, and between the building and the landscape.

Three zinc-clad volumes – the Public wing, the Guest wing, and the Family wing – elevate all the heated areas and critical infrastructure above the floodplain. These volumes organize the primary indoor areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, baths and mechanical rooms, while interstitial spaces between the house and ground foster a series of outdoor rooms including a carport, a courtyard, a pool pavilion, a terrarium, and roof terraces. A palette of cedar, limestone, and zinc elegantly ties everything together.

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Rear of the House hovering over the wetlands.

Taking advantage of the sloping site, the architects designed the three-level Watermill House to appear as a single-story home from the street.

Entry Patio

Stretching across 6,000 square feet, the home is comprised of three adjoining boxes: the public wing, the guest wing, and the family wing.

The home features several interstitial outdoor areas, including a skylit terrarium which helps to naturally illuminate the interiors.

Spacious and highly functional, the polished kitchen features customized bespoke cabinetry. Built-in benches along a glazed corner provide plentiful seating.

Hall and Stair to Master Bedroom

A peek at the master bedroom and bath. Like the rest of the home, these rooms receive ample natural light and are fitted with a neutral material palette to foster a calm, tranquil setting.

Lifted high above the property, the cantilevered family wing is supported by two large columns.

A spacious pool patio sits under the cover of the extended family wing above.

Pool

A carport is tucked under one of the home's elevated wings.

“Rather than fight the constraints imposed by the land, we saw this as an opportunity to capture a variety of spaces that could exist under, over, and between the building and the landscape,” says Shahane. “A palette of cedar, limestone, and zinc elegantly ties everything together.”

Rear of the house at dusk.

Landscape Design
  • Summerhill Landscapes
Builder
  • Aran Construction
Photographer

Overview

Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Square Feet
  • 6000